Sunday 31 January 2016

Betrayal at Calth Contemptor Conversion No.2

After the success of modifying my first Betrayal at Calth Contemptor Dreadnought (which I picked up as a solo model before diving into the complete box set), I set about making a more dynamic pose for my second model. With an increase in the number of attacks thanks to the recent FAQ I wanted a model that would be in the thick of the fighting and make the most of the increase to the movement and run ranges using the Emperor's Children special Rite of War. Add in the Fleet USR and I hope he will be making turn two charges every game!

With the model being assembled in two halves off the sprue I had a lot of difficulty building strength with the "hollow" legs and pulled a badly pinned test model apart to fill each of the three sections with green stuff before pinning. This makes him quite weighty once the rocks were added to the base, but with such a dynamic pose it helps quite a lot with the stability once the dice are rolling and clumsy gamers like me are playing!

I found a MkIII backpack on my bits box along with a few non GW legs and heads from an earlier project, so I took a very rough mold so I can use multiple backpacks for basing with in future. I look forward to painting this dead space marine using some colours from the rivals of the Istvaan III campaign, most likely as a traitor World Eater space marine!

After finding the first dreadnought to be a bit of a mess of colour once finished I decided to make this one "simpler" and rely on the large areas of battle damaged purple armour to dominate rather than the ornate gold armour of the earlier model. With a holiday home to Australia for the next few weeks it will be a while until I get to paint this one but it will be worth the wait!

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Emperor's Children "Champion": Oil Wash

One of the key breakthroughs of my new "Emperor's Children" army project has been the use of an oil wash over the whole model after the acrylics to make them more battle-worn without worrying about the usual darkening of a paint scheme that is associated with "dipping". Aside from the terrible smell of white spirits (turpentine) the oil wash has many benefits as it can be manipulated for many hours after applying, does not affect the overall finish of the paint scheme (no shiny residue once dry), and is very cheap when compared to acrylic washes or similar products.

Aside from the terrible photos (which have both had an "auto white balance" applied to them) you can see the effect most noticeably on the cloth sections of the model and the base, both of which gain extra depth and lose some of their glare which detracts from the overall colour scheme. The gold on the left has been shaded only with an acrylic purple wash (after the two gold colours where applied and re-touched), then the whole model coated in GW's Lamium medium before the oils are applied. I used a hair dyer on the first few models to speed things up, but now have a dedicated drying container to keep the smell in and the cat out!

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Emperor's Children Contemptor Dreadnought (Completed)

The first model I have completed for my new Emperor's Children army is a Mortis pattern Contemptor Dreadnought! I used this Betrayal at Calth model to try out a few new ideas, with some brass wire details, an instant mold copied aquila, and a little freehand detail inspired by some of the Emperor's Children artwork floating around. It was also a great opportunity to see my darker purple colour scheme on a larger model. Overall I am very happy with how it turned out!

I am still getting to grips with my photography (mostly the focus with a phone camera), but the model looks great in person and I can't wait to get him and a few more painted models onto the table for a game later this month. I used an oil wash for the first time, and the brown really ties the base to the model, shading and dulling the metals, while warming up the rather cold colour scheme on base and model alike. I have left the base deliberately sparse but may add the usually grassy patch or two at a later date. I also used a dry pigment to pick out the shadows of the rocks and act as a second brown to compliment the oil paint.

On the sides of the model I added some details using green stuff, parts from the bits box, a little brass wire and freehand. I left the rear of the model quite plain to see what the larger sections will look like should I use the same colour scheme in future on the flat surfaces of a tank. Overall a great start to my army project and I learnt many lessons which I can use on the next Dreadnought! Thanks for visiting the blog. You can see some work in progress pictures in this previous post.

Sunday 3 January 2016

New Year's Army Project - Pre-Heresy Emperor's Children

After a fairly patchy hobby year in 2015 I've decided to keep things fresh and start a new army for Warhammer 30,000 using the recently released Betrayal at Calth box set. I spent the last year or two culling my miniature collections and games down to just two (fairly large) Ork and Blood Angel armies, and it made little sense convincing myself the Calth box set was "good value" if I was only going to use it to add to my Blood Angels. I have always wanted to make an Emperor's Children pre-heresy army after seeing Dave Taylor's work over six years ago (!), and had put off any plans as I was still learning to paint different techniques while finding it difficult to stay focused. As a result my desire to match the "perfection" sought by the Emperor's Children with any paint job would result in a long term project that I felt I would never finish.

So with the New Year comes a new plan to build and paint a full army in a matter of months, and build and paint it specifically for the tabletop. I have been pushing the same models around in the same state of undercoat or partial paint jobs for nearly two years, hoping to one day paint them up "really well" but being distracted by newer models and competition pieces. As a result my enthusiasm for gaming has waned and I want to correct that this year. Having a fully painted army that is painted to a high tabletop standard (and not rushed for a specific deadline) is my number one goal this year, and less than a week in (I cheated with some assembly after Christmas) I am kicking major goals!

One of the keys to this success has been repeating the "tabletop/gaming" army mantra when something doesn't look quite right during assembly. A small gap here, or a slightly less than sharp mold there, would have brought a previous project to a halt but not this time. As a movie director will fix things in post production, I hope to tidy up, mask, and accentuate with a crisp paint job. I will be using all my speed painting skills that I had forgotten, a lot of airbrush, washes, real metals, dusty pigments on the bases (with minimal fancy features) and get back to the roots of painting armies rather than the six step process for painting an eye perfectly. My aim is to loosen up my painting style, relax my eyes and previously rigid hobby schedule to create a beautiful gaming army.